Ravi Roth of Gaycation: The Future of Travel in The Post Covid World

Candice Georgiadis
May 25 · 7 min read

In terms of hotels, Hilton invented the Hilton Clean Stay program which includes contactless check-in, each room is sealed, proving it was sanitized before entrance, and housekeeping doesn’t enter the room unless specifically asked.

part of my series about “developments in the travel industry over the next five years”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ravi Roth.

Ravi Roth has trekked the globe as a blogger, vlogger, content creator and influencer exploring the Queer culture in 32 countries with his travel brand Ravi Round the World. His itinerary for each destination is based on experiences from the people who actually live there. Ravi fearlessly captures and discovers where to stay, play, eat, work out, sights to see and Queer history from the local perspective.

Ravi has been branded as an expert in the Queer travel community. As a sought after lecturer on Queer travel, Ravi has been a featured speaker at the NY Times Travel Show, LGBT Week, Google, and Community Marketing Insights. Ravi is hosting the new travel series, GAYCATION out 5/14.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

have an innate curiosity to talk to people everywhere I go. I started traveling for fun at age 25 and thought it would be a neat idea to vlog my experience. I uploaded it to social media at the time where social media really started taking off and my YouTube videos got discovered and noticed in the Queer travel space. I started to get invited to destinations around the USA, which translated into global invites, and here I am 32 countries later with my own brand Ravi Round The World, and host of the upcoming travel series, Gaycation Travel Show.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The most interesting story since starting my Queer travel career is to have achieved the ability to be a one-man band. I took the time and learned how to create, produce, edit, and tell stories. It didn’t start off polished, but I am so proud that I was able to really hone in the skills to do exactly what I am passionate about!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I made was telling my ex that I was fluent in French as I took it in high school. We got to Paris and my overly confident self asked for 10 pounds of cheese. I was confused and thought that ‘beurre’ was cheese…it was butter. We then went to the restaurants and museums and I tried to speak French, but it was not great. Parisians don’t love when Americans “try” to speak French. I learned that just because I took French in high school does not make me a Frenchman.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Can you share a story about that?

Instagram is not life. Instagram is not life. Instagram is not life. Content creators and other Queer travel gurus put so much pressure on themselves to have high numbers and constant engagement on Instagram. As important as that is, we must remember we are worth more than our social media. Take a break. Experience life. Set small realistic goals every day. Don’t big picture it on the daily or you will get lost in the shuffle. The best way to thrive is to be uniquely and authentically yourself. No one is like you. Hone in and specify what it is that makes you special in the travel market and go full out into that niche!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Matt Skallerud who started the #ILoveGay network has been my mentor from the start. He has introduced me to countless people along the way and three years ago, he noticed I had many months of being stagnant. At that time, he questioned whether or not I was wanting to go full out into the Queer travel market or not. He noticed I was always with the cool kids’ table but did not have the same success as them. He taught me one of the greatest lessons in life and that was to do the actual work and create my OWN table. He opened my eyes to realize that my perspective on the Queer travel space is unique, valid, and special. I dove into the work and created a beautiful brand that I am so proud of.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

I am bringing not only storytelling in the Queer community to the forefront but making the star of everything I do the destination. As travel has been halted for over a year, it is so important to spread positivity and factual based evidence that cities are making their comeback. I dive into the local Queer culture in every destination I visit and share stories of acceptance, joy, hardship on a personal level, and safety and fun on a community-based level.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation?

Equality is not global within the Queer community and until that is achieved my job as a storyteller is vital. Not every destination is “gay friendly” but every destination HAS gay people. With Gaycation Travel Show, we highlight known safe Queer spaces as well as off-the-beaten path destinations. People of every kind exist everywhere and we need to celebrate, explore, and tell stories around that. Safety around travel in the Queer space is a huge focal point as I want to inspire humans to travel in a post-Covid world.

How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

Cisgender white folks have always had it the easiest. Our privilege allows us to go anywhere and be safe to blend in. My mission is to share stories of other types of humans that may not have that privilege. Sharing stories of Black, Brown, differently-abled, trans, and non-binary folks is needed for actual radical change and acceptance.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

In terms of hotels, Hilton invented the Hilton Clean Stay program which includes contactless check-in, each room is sealed, proving it was sanitized before entrance, and housekeeping doesn’t enter the room unless specifically asked.

People are starting to use travel agencies now more than ever to book their future trips. This reason is because personal safety is at the forefront. Using a travel expert will assure safety, cleanliness, and peace of mind.

Many attractions and venues that we used to be able to get tickets the day of now require advanced ticketing and/or reservations. Capacity inside venues is capping at a smaller number so I advise people to do research ahead of time.

As the majority of the world has been hunkered down for the past year, it has forced us to pay closer attention to our respective homebase. Staycations throughout 2020–2021 have been booming. In the next few years those who are not quite ready to hop on a plane or be in close quarters with others will be much more comfortable exploring their native city. While tourism in New York City is not nearly as high as it was pre pandemic, people living in the big apple are really starting to experience this city and all it has to offer.

If there is a dream vacation or a bucket list that one has, I believe that people will start to book these trips sooner than later. With these projections, the travel market will be THRIVING within the next few years.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

A “perfect vacation experience” is so personal. My suggestion is to go where your heart wants to take you. Do your research. What lights you up? Cities, nature, beach? If you are someone who wants everything planned out, I highly suggest working with a tour operator or agent. If you are more of a spur-of-the-moment type of person, have goals of spots you want to hit up and leave room for improv. As long as you get out of your comfort zone and start to see the world, you are nailing the “perfect vacation experience!”

Can you share with our readers how have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I shine a light through social media on telling stories of destinations. Specifically, I just left Tulsa, Oklahoma, and learned about how progressive this destination has become. I shared through social media how Tulsa is blossoming and demanding change and equality through their museums, arts, food, and culture. Dozens of humans have messaged me about how I have inspired them to want to travel to this destination. If I can change one person’s viewpoint and inspire one person to travel to a destination, then I did my job.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

My movement would be the #BeYoSelf movement! We are slowly shifting as a global community to be the best versions of our unique selves, however humans in the LGBTQ space often feel we can’t take up space. What if society didn’t care and there was no pressure to fit in? That would be a world worth celebrating. Picture it — we walk the streets as ourselves. All accepted. All equal. All Valid. All Safe to #BeYoSelf

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram www.instagram.com/RaviRoundTheWorld

TikTok www.tiktok.com/@raviroundtheworld

Youtube www.Youtube.com/raviroundtheworld

Gaycation Travel Show launching May 14th 2021 www.gaycationmagazine.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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